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How black women are portrayed in the media
Transcript of How black women are portrayed in the media
The Implicit Bias Towards Black Women in the Media
Black Women in Print Newspapers
While black women are represented in a fairly large range of roles, there is a clear lack of portrayal of black women in high-ranking leadership positions, which is unfortunately a reflection of America at this time.
Black Women in TV Journalism
Black women in TV journalism have largely lacked representation up until recently where there have been many monumental firsts when it comes to success by Black women in this field.
Black Female Journalists
Portrayal of Black Women in TV media
In a study done by Essence magazine, 1200 television media consumers were taxed with reporting their observations of how Black women were portrayed and characterized. A majority of those participating in the study reported that a large percentage of Black women in media are negatively characterized as, "Gold Diggers, Modern Jezebels, Baby Mamas, Uneducated Sisters, Ratchet Women, Angry Black Women, Mean Black Girls, Unhealthy Black Women, and Black Barbies," wrote Dawnie Walton in the November 2013 issue of Essence Magazine.
What Can and Should Be Done
One major change that can cause a major shift in how Black women are portrayed is to stop casting most Black women into the same character slot especially if it's a negative one, because this is what creates negative stereotypes instead showcasing all the achievements, success, and positive actions of Black women.
Black Women in Online News
The first Black female television journalist in Western America made her debut in 1963 by covering a Black beauty pageant for bay area news station KTVU
This leads us to ask...
What is the effect of mainly portraying black women under the scope of entertainment or their race?
Which stereotypes do this perpetuate?
How does the lack of black women in media influence society?
What happens when we only see stories by and about white males?
Why is diversity in news important?
In 1978 actress Jayne Kennedy was the first Black woman to host a network sports television broadcast after hosting "The NFL today" on CBS.
In 1973 Oprah Winfrey became the youngest person and first black news anchor to broadcast the news at WTVF-TV in Nashville.
Ethel L. Payne who is know as the "First Lady of the Black Press" because of her work in both the fields of activism and journalism in the 50s and 60sis one of only four black female journalists on a "women in journalism stamp made by the U.S. Postal Service.
In 2013 Nadia Crow became Utah's first Black news anchor at Salt Lake City's KTVX-Channel 4.
In 2014 Tamron Hall was announced as the first Black female co-host of the Today show.
Also according to the study, the six types not seen enough in the media which includes " Young Phenoms, Real Beauties, Individualists, Community Heroines, Girls Next Door and Modern Matriarchs." (Dawnie Lawson, Essence Magazine)
In the Workplace
Walton also reported that ""85% of our Black women respondents reported they regularly see representations of Baby Mamas in media, while only 41% said they often see Real Beauties. The type seen least often? Community Heroines." (Dawnie Lawson, Essence Magazine)
In an analysis of a 2016 Sunday
issue of the Washington Post, here's how
black women were represented...
In an interview with HuffPost Live Hall says that, "Every time a young girl comes in and asks me for advice, if you start your conversation with 'how hard is it as a black woman' or 'how hard is it as a woman', I turn you around because I cannot, we cannot look at the roadblocks and see the road at the same time. We all have these challenges and stereotypes that exist, but you can't let that hold you down."
Tamron Hall is a national correspondent for NBC News, a co-anchor of Today's Take, and the host on the Investigation Discovery Channel. She is blind to the challenges of being a black women in the news world.
Belva Davis was the first African American woman to become a television reporter on the West Coast. She has won 8 Emmy awards since she started her journalism career in 1957 for an African American focused magazine, Jet, where she went from earning $5 per article without a byline to hosting her own talk show.
~Black Women in the media for most companies aren't talked about often and when they are the story is about racism, tragedy, or celebrity stories.
~They are often and likely to be portrayed as angry or "manly"
~89% of respondents to a Huffington Post survey said they regularly experience black women in the media being depicted as "baby mamas" and "gold diggers"
As Davis was kick starting her career as a journalist she got kicked out of news conferences because she didn't look like a "real reporter" and she was spit on while covering a civil rights march in Georgia
"We wanted to be accepted for what we knew, not how we looked. These days, there are an awful lot of cutie-pies on the air..."
- Belva Davis
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SFGATE, 23 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 May 2016.
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"EBONY." EBONY. Ebony Magazine. Web. May 2016.
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Ferguson, Renee. "A Dilemma for Black Women in Broadcast Journalism." Nieman
Notes. NiemanReports, 2007. Web. 15 May 2016.
Lowery, Wesley. "A Glimpse into a Mother's Grief." Washington Post [Washington, D.C.] 15 May 2016, Outlook: B8. Print.
"News." Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Web. May 2016.
Prince, Richard. "Black Women in Media: Gold Diggers, Jezebels and Baby Mamas?"
Theroot.com. The Root, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 May 2016.
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Washington Post (Print)
Wells, Veronica. "“I Don't Look at My Life That Way” Tamron Hall on
Ignoring Challenges of Being a Black Woman." Madame Noire. Madame Noire, 8
July 2015. Web. 15 May 2016.
Williams, Clarence, and Martin Weil. "Boy of 7 or 8 Is Wounded in Shooting in Southeast." Washington Post [Washington, D.C.] 15 May 2016, Metro: C5. Print.
Williams, Vanessa, and Scott Clement. "Young Black Voter Turnout Unmoved by Activism." Washington Post [Washington, D.C.] 15 May 2016: A4. Print.
"10 Black Female Firsts in TV Journalism Around the World." BET.com. BET, 26
Feb. 2014. Web. 15 May 2016.
Renee Ferguson is an investigative reporter for WMAQ TV, NBC - 5 in Chicago. She, along with all up-and-coming black female reporters face discrimination from not only her viewers, but from her director as well.
director told her that
she had to get rid of
her afro because,
"We’re getting a lot of calls from our viewers. They say you look militant, like Angela Davis. You’re scaring them!" Renee argued that, "They should be looking at my reports, not looking at my hair."
Black female journalists have been struggling to earn their place in the news industry's honorable professionals as they overcome oppressive discrimination